Cautions About Artificial Intelligence – And Response

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Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the future of our world. It is rapidly becoming normal in our homes and workplaces. There are now robots and machines that can talk to you. Cars that drive themselves. Machines that can perform surgeries without error. Electronic translators that get results in seconds. “Indeed, Artificial Intelligence has already become an everyday part of life for most humans in 2017,” reports Daniel Newman, a data analyst and researcher for the Broadsuite Media Group. This all sounds so great, but there is a downside to some of these ground breaking scientific discoveries. While these new robots are able to do many extraordinary things that will help our world, they are also making us lazy, and rapidly increasing unemployment rates.  

Artificial intelligence will be able to help the world in many different and amazing ways. There are now machines that can perform surgeries with zero error. There will be cars that will drive you to an destination you need, while preventing wrecks. An estimated 1.13 million people die every year from car wrecks in the U.S. in 2015. (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety) The truth is, most of these wrecks are from not paying attention, falling asleep, drinking, speeding, road rage, or texting. Self driving cars don’t get tired, they don’t get distracted, and they don’t speed. The point is, these machines have potential to be extremely beneficial to our world. I would even go to the lengths of saying that Artificial Intelligence could soon make the world a better place. There still are issues that keep Artificial Intelligence from being magnificent.  

Yes, all of these little new inventions are quite stunning and interesting, but we all know that they are making us lazy: from asking Siri to do everything for you, to cleaning our floors, and soon being able to drive our cars for us. I don’t think a kid born after the year of 2000 knows how to actually write and address a formal letter. There are more than 100 different TV channels to take up our day. There is food delivery and online shopping that prevent us from going out to family dinners or going shopping with your parents. It is all remarkably effortless now. This is not a huge problem, but we should keep trying to ward off these little gadgets and tools from making us lazy and dependent upon them.  

Fearfully, I believe that robots will steal jobs. And there is a simple and obvious reason for this. Flipping burgers and frying fries and robots performing surgeries are employment opportunities at very opposite ends of the marketplace. New robots and machines are able to do it all, and they will. They do not fatigue, so they can grind non-stop. They do not have to be paid, so they will work non-stop. And they are mistake free, so we will depend on them in the future. They up stage humans on every level. Soon enough, the only jobs remaining will be for the people that make the robots. A reputable entrepreneur, Bill Gates, believes that low level Artificial Intelligence will not be a threat to us. Although, he thinks that in years to follow AI could be, “strong enough to be a concern.” I am not worried to the point that I believe it will overrun the human race, but I am convinced that it will replace jobs that are suitable for lower class citizens. This could result in many jobless and homeless people on the streets. It would also widen the gap between the middle/upper class citizens, and the lower/middle class citizens. How we can prevent this? I’m not exactly sure. But I believe that there is a reasonable compromise that can be made. We do not have to worry about losing our self driving cars, or face reading iphones. We can keep all of our fascinating little toys, but we need to keep a market and economy for our middle and lower class citizen. Samantha Masunaga for the L.A. Times reports that, “Thirty-eight percent of U.S. jobs will be taken by robots within 15 years.” We need to avoid this. This is the very issue that could tear our nation apart. It would Increase the numbers of the unemployed, and it will raise poverty levels exorbitantly. 

The larger issue, and the one I really want to focus on, is the fact that AI could be smart and strong enough to outrun, or outwit humankind. In 1964, Gilbert Burck wrote an excerpt from Fortune titled Will the Computer Outwit Man? This title shows that we have been ignoring this issue for way too long. Bruck states, “The second fear is that the computer will eventually become so intelligent and even creative that it will relegate man, or most men, to a humiliating and intolerable inferior role in the world.” Now, this may sound a bit extreme, but the is no reason to say that it couldn’t happen in our lifetime. This article states many ways that AI can be a threat in the future, but it also tells how it can benefit us. This proves that this is a real issue and these people are not completely one sided or crazy. Everyone has either heard of, or seen commercial on IBM’s Watson. This computer is the smartest and fastest that has ever been invented. It is able to think like a human, while not getting tired or making mistakes. Soon enough, computers will actually be able to participate in conversation. This should worry you greatly. If they reach this point, computers could become a potential threat to us. It is a long way off, but we can not ignore it.  

In conclusion, I believe that Artificial Intelligence could benefit our world greatly, but we most definitely need to be cautious of the effects that it could have in our economy in the future. 

I am not saying that we should stop inventing. Exploring. Learning. Innovating. Investigating. We just have to be careful that we stay in control of this powerful computer system that is AI. We need to preserve our lower/middle class. AI is going to make the world a very interesting and amazing place to live in in the future, we just have to keep our hands on the reigns.  

Jake Tremain


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Author: || World Economic Forum

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